"That is it. This time, he's gone too far!"
Jensen came storming into Misha's trailer, not bothering to knock and slamming the door behind him. Not that Misha minded. He had spent far too much time trying to break Jensen of his too careful and polite habits and quite frankly, he was proud of how well he had succeeded.
There had been that minor setback that time when Misha had thought everyone was busy on set and Jensen had walked in quite unexpectedly, but through an instantaneous and unspoken agreement, they never talked about that. Misha thought that they had both learned a lesson that day. He had learned that sometimes, it really is a good idea to lock the door. What Jensen had learned, he didn't like to think about (except possibly behind those very same locked doors), but he suspected it may have something to do with the heightened colour in Jensen's cheeks sometimes when he looked at Misha.
Anyway, the point is, this wasn't the first time Jensen had invaded his trailer without warning and the reason was usually the same.
"Jared?" Misha guessed, as Jensen threw himself down on the sofa beside him, immediately going from raging to seething. "What's he done this time?"
Jensen didn't reply, but threw the half-crumpled magazine he'd been clutching at him. Looking down, Misha found himself staring at Jared's grinning face, beneath a headline that read:
Practical jokes and secret love affairs - Jared Padalecki reveals what happens behind the cameras on the set of Supernatural.
"Apparently", Jensen spat out, before Misha could begin reading, "our chemistry on camera is due to the irrepressible passion we feel for each other. Dean and Cas's profound bond is really just unresolved sexual tension. We fuck each other with our eyes, because we're too repressed to do it properly. And no, I'm not paraphrasing."
Misha snorted, earning himself a dark glare from Jensen, who obviously hadn’t yet reached the point where he could appreciate the humour in it.
"Oh, come on", Misha said. "You really think anyone's going to take this crap seriously?"
Jensen gave him one of those looks that very clearly proclaimed him a moron.
"Have you met our fans?" he asked incredulously and Misha had to give him that one. Considering the things he'd heard at conventions and what little he'd read on the Internet, this was precisely the sort of thing to make the fandom implode.
"Alright, you have a point", he said, "but who cares? So they think the two of us are itching to go at it like bunnies. So what? It'll probably do wonders for our ratings."
Jensen stared at him as if he'd finally lost what little had been left of his mind.
"Not to mention our sex lives", he said sarcastically, "and probably our careers. You can't seriously be okay with this?"
Misha shrugged. Rumours had never bothered him, in fact they usually amused him and he had been known to start a few himself, just for entertainment. The more disparate the rumours, the better, as it made the truth harder to pin down.
"Why does it bother you so much?" he countered. "No one who matters will ever believe that article and anyone who does can easily be shown the truth."
"I know." Jensen's voice was disgruntled and when Misha glanced up from the article to look at him, he found that Jensen had gone from seething into a full-on sulk and Misha could not help thinking that he looked seriously adorable. There really was no other word for it. His eyes were downcast, his lower lip pouted and he was fidgeting restlessly. It was as if the tall, broad-shouldered man who had furiously barged into Misha's trailer had been replaced with a young boy still learning about the injustice of the world.
Completely distracted from the topic of the discussion, Misha wished there was some way he could fish his phone out of his pocket and snap a photo of Jensen like this. At least ten potential captions ran through his head, as he imagined posting the photo on Twitter and watching his following implode.
Jensen's voice broke into his internal debate about whether or not it would be a sound career decision to make the majority of his fans die from sheer cute.
"I just wish there was some way to get back at him", Jensen said.
In Misha's defence, his mind was already on the potential evil uses of Jensen's undeniable good looks. Therefore, the leap his thoughts made to his next idea was not as great as it otherwise might have seemed.
Jensen, who despite all of Misha's efforts was still just a sweet, well-mannered boy-next-door, seemed positively alarmed by the huge, manic grin that spread across Misha's face.
"So what did you want to talk about?"
Jared was sitting across from Jensen in the former's trailer, the inauspicious magazine lying open and impossible to ignore on the table between them. Jensen knew Jared had seen it by the self-satisfied smirk he was trying and failing to repress. It went some way towards silencing the monotonous chant of "bad idea, bad idea, bad idea" that had been on constant replay in Jensen's head ever since he agreed to Misha's insane plot.
Jared clearly believed he'd got the upper hand with his latest prank. Jensen was all for showing him up and knocking him down a peg. He just had a bad feeling that this particular plan would somehow backfire on him. However, since he couldn't think of a better plan himself, he had no choice but to go along with Misha's and hope for the best.
Taking a deep breath, he took the plunge.
"Look, Jared", he said. "About this article... I get it. And it's great, really, that you seem to be so okay with it, but don't you think there are better ways to show us your support than to let the whole world know? I mean, hell, our families don't even know yet. I have no idea how you even knew. How did you know?"
The smug grin had fallen off Jared's face, replaced by a bewildered, almost cornered look. It was obvious that he suspected what Jensen was hinting at, but that his brain didn't quite want to connect the dots until it became inevitable. It was really amusing and Jensen had to break out his legendary stone face in order not to give himself away. It was fortunate that they had decided that he would be the one to talk to Jared. Misha would have cracked already.
"The thing is", he continued, when it became apparent that Jared wasn't going to reply, "this... whatever it is me and Misha have, it's really new and we don't really know what it is yet. We were hoping to figure it out for ourselves first, before telling anyone else. Although I personally think it's a bit of a relief, you knowing and all. It's been really hard hiding it from you. I just need to know that from now on, you'll keep our secret. Can you do that? For me?"
Jensen watched Jared gulp and nod, and allowed himself a huge grin. He reached over and grabbed Jared's shoulder briefly.
"Thanks, man", he said. "I knew I could count on you. Seriously, it is such a weight off my shoulders, not having to tell you, you have no idea. But you've got to tell me how you found out. No way are you that perceptive! Please tell me you didn't catch us making out!" He lowered his head bashfully, pretending to blush. "I've told Misha we shouldn't take so many risks, that someone was bound to see us, but the man is insatiable and what can I say? I'm a sucker for those blue eyes. I'm glad it was you who saw us and not some other blabbermouth. At least this we can probably play off as a joke."
He grew silent, as if waiting for Jared to speak, but his friend was too busy imitating a fish to make a sound. Feeling inordinately pleased with himself, he beamed at Jared and stood up.
"Anyway", he said, "that was all. I think I'm going to go find my angel now. We still have some time before we have to be on set, after all, and I guess Misha's not the only one who's insatiable. A fair bit of advice: Stay away from Misha's trailer for the next half-hour or so!"
With a dirty grin and wink, he then left the trailer and its gobsmacked occupant to go tell Misha what a genius actor he was. For that performance, he deserved a fucking Oscar.
Misha may have been the consummate liar when it came to the public, but towards himself, he was always brutally honest. Even if he'd tried, he could not have denied to himself that the week that followed Jensen's conversation with Jared was one of the most enjoyable ones of his life.
If it had just been watching Jared squirm awkwardly every time Misha moved a bit too close to Jensen or seeing his struggle to convey how very okay he was with his best friend suddenly going gay for his co-worker - and the ease with which he accepted this sudden change made Misha question his previous, admittedly unfounded assumptions about Jensen's sexuality - it would have been entertaining enough, but add to that the sudden permission to indulge some of his more innocent desires and he could hardly recall ever having a better week.
Misha knew he was playing with fire. They had decided that a week was enough time to keep up the charade. One week of being allowed to look, but not too closely; touch, but not too long; fuel his fantasies, but not fulfil them; and Misha was fairly certain that if Jensen hadn't figured him out by the end of the week, it would be because he didn't want to.
The wise thing to do would obviously be to step back, to take it easy and not exaggerate. Unfortunately, subtlety was a fine art Misha had yet to master, especially when it came to emotions. He didn't have Jensen's composure, which was one of the reasons why he found the man so attractive.
Jensen intrigued him. He was a man of contradictions, of complexities, of closely guarded secrets, and Misha, who'd always considered himself a master of these things, found himself a mere amateur in comparison. He worked hard to spin his webs of lies, to put on the different masks of his various personae, to confound and to discombobulate; to Jensen, it was all innate and effortless. How could Misha be expected to resist someone like that?
He sometimes wondered if Jensen was as indifferent as he seemed. If he was, Misha found it difficult to explain what he got out of all this. It was a pretty lame prank, after all, certainly not up to par with Misha's usual plots of diabolical genius (or puerile mischief - he wasn't much for labels). And yet Jensen had been willing to go along with it. He hadn't even had to be persuaded and considering the risks they were taking, that was certainly worthy of a raised eyebrow or two.
Of course, the risks were part of the fun for Misha. They both knew they had to be careful. It would not do to have someone other than Jared catch them being a bit too friendly with each other. The cast and crew of Supernatural may have been like a family, but it was an extremely gossipy one. If anyone was to catch them, it would not be long before it reached the public and neither of them was willing to take the prank that far. It would take far too much explaining away.
Unfortunately, at least for Jensen's peace of mind, caution was another talent that Misha had yet to acquire. When riding his bike down a steep hill full of curves and hidden bumps, he wasn't the type to press the brakes; he was the type to pedal harder. He applied the same philosophy to most parts of his life, and while it had occasionally led to trouble, not to mention hospitalisation, it had also saved him from long bouts of boredom (unless you counted said hospitalisation).
It really was a miracle that they hadn't been caught. In the beginning they'd kept the act to when they were perfectly alone with Jared and even then it had been restricted to flirty glances and lingering touches on the hand or arm.
As the week went on, however, they became bolder. Misha would see Jared watching them on set and he'd move closer to Jensen, too close, even for them. If he was feeling especially reckless, he might even hook their little fingers together for a moment.
Jensen had begun giving Misha small, intimate smiles where Jared could see them. These smiles were wreaking havoc with Misha's sanity, as he did his best to remind himself what a good actor Jensen was and that it was all pretend. He tended to forget all this, however, when Jensen lowered his head shyly, while throwing Misha absolutely filthy looks from underneath long lashes, a crooked smile twisting those full lips.
As retaliation, Misha used a more direct approach when it was just the three of them. More than once he'd stolen a grope, only to have Jensen jump and glare darkly at him, while pretending to act coy for Jared's benefit. Misha would just give him a wide-eyed look of innocence and, if he was feeling bold, an apologetic peck on the cheek, taking the opportunity to inhale the clean, fresh scent of Jensen's shampoo.
It really was a good thing he was so secure in his masculinity. Otherwise, the fact that he was apparently turning into a thirteen year old girl might have bothered him.
As if to drive this fact home, he found himself wishing that just once before the week was over, he would get to kiss Jensen properly.
They all had that weekend off. Jensen had invited Misha and Jared over for dinner and some beers. He and Misha had decided to really test Jared's patience, before letting him in on the prank.
Jared had really impressed Jensen during the week that had passed. Jensen had already known that his friend was a good person, open-minded and kind. He just hadn't anticipated just how supportive Jared would be. It was enough to make him feel guilty.
True, the first few days had been somewhat awkward. It had been obvious that Jared was feeling bad about all his previous jokes about Jensen and Misha's relationship, including the article, and he had seemed taken aback by the revelation that all his lies had actually been true.
Once he had got over his initial surprise, however - and Jensen was still slightly suspicious of how quickly that had happened - he had appeared to be fine with it. Yes, he joked about not wanting to witness any great shows of PDA and teased Jensen about being the girl in the relationship, but he was also very caring and seemed truly happy for them both, but especially for Jensen as his best friend.
Whenever it was just the two of them, he would ask questions about their relationship and he sounded as if he really wanted to know the answers. It was everything from how it had happened, to how far they had gone - and boy, had that been an excruciating conversation - to how Jensen felt about it and how he felt about eventually telling his family and friends.
All in all, he was being the best friend imaginable and it was taking all the fun out of the prank. Jensen found himself lying through his teeth most of the time and he felt like crap about it.
It was funny, though, how the easiest lies to tell were the ones about how Misha made him feel. He didn't even have to draw on his previous experiences of love for those ones.
When all was said and done, Jensen was relieved when the week was over and it was time to come clean. He didn't want to lie to Jared any longer and he wanted to be able to start acting normal around Misha again. The lines of their relationship had never been all that clear - nothing about Misha was - but now they were becoming more blurred than ever and Jensen hated how he couldn't tell anymore what was the prank and what was real.
An example of that was Misha's greeting that evening when Jensen opened the door. Misha was carrying a bottle of what was undoubtedly fine wine and a huge, almost manic grin. As soon as Jensen had let him into his house, Misha was on him, embracing him and planting a loud kiss on his cheek.
"I'm happy to see you too", Jensen said drily. "Jared isn't here yet, by the way."
Misha shrugged and breezed past him, heading towards the kitchen.
"I wasn't sure", he said. "I didn't see his car outside, but I thought better safe than sorry."
Jensen rolled his eyes.
"Whatever", he said. "There's an open bottle of wine on the counter. Help yourself!"
"Don't mind if I do", Misha replied, "and we'll save this for later."
He vanished into the kitchen, leaving Jensen to wonder why he got the feeling later held some to him hidden meaning.
Misha had just returned from the kitchen with a full glass of red wine when the doorbell rang again. Knowing that Jared was even less polite than Misha, especially since he and Jensen had always had a sort of mi casa es su casa mentality towards each other's homes, Jensen realised that this was an opportunity to really fluster his friend.
He took a couple of quick steps forward and grabbed Misha around the waist, just as the door began to open. Without stopping to think or question whether or not this was a good idea and how this might affect those lines he had been so worried about, Jensen leaned in and captured Misha's wine-red lips in a far too intimate kiss. He felt Misha gasp and stiffen in surprise, before finally getting with the program and melding his body against Jensen's.
This was no prank. There could be no denying the reality of the fire that suddenly spread through Jensen’s body like a web of flames. He pulled Misha closer, clutching him harder, not caring if he was crushing the other man. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but getting as close as possible. If he could have, he would have climbed inside Misha’s body and that thought really didn’t help cool him down.
How could he have been such a fool not to have understood this before? Suddenly it all made sense: all the tension between them, the long looks, the chemistry, the lack of personal space. There was finally a reason for the butterflies in his stomach whenever Misha smiled at him, for the giddy glee he felt whenever Misha was around and for the bleakness of those days when Misha wasn’t on the set.
There was a cough behind them and Jensen reluctantly allowed Misha to pull back enough to look over his shoulder. Jared was standing just inside the door, grinning at them in that way that told Jensen he was never living this down – ever.
“Am I intruding?” Jared asked and Jensen wanted nothing more than to answer “yes”, but his mama had raised him better than that. Not that he wanted to think of his mother right now.
“Not at all”, he said, wincing internally at how hoarse he sounded. He could probably give Castiel a run for his money in the sex voice department. “We were just…”
“Just..?” Jared prompted and why did Jensen have to be such a girl? Hoping against hope that his scowl worked to cancel out his blush, he contented himself with glaring. He knew that the fact that he had yet to let go of Misha probably worked against him, but there were some things even best friends shouldn’t be subjected to and the effect that that kiss had had on him definitely fell into that category.
“We were just working up an appetite”, Misha replied for him and Jensen had to admit that there was really no competition. His voice could never sound that gravelly or that sexy.
“An appetite?” Jared’s grin was growing impossibly wider. “For what exactly?”
Misha shrugged sheepishly, his arms still locked around Jensen.
“It is possible we didn’t quite think this through”, he admitted. “What can I say? When Jensen’s around, I lose all ability to think coherent thoughts.”
“As if you ever had it to begin with”, he said.
“True”, Misha agreed, “but what’s your excuse? If I recall correctly, and I doubt I’ll ever forget, you were the one to instigate this.”
And there his face went again, burning with a different type of heat.
“It must be contagious”, he muttered.
“If you two are quite done bickering”, Jared broke in. “There was something you wanted to talk to me about?”
“Right”, Misha said and from his tone, Jensen thought that maybe he had forgotten about the purpose of the evening too. Misha was still smiling, but there was a wary look in his eyes that hadn’t been there a moment ago and his body had gone tense in Jensen’s arms. He didn’t meet Jensen’s eyes and he kept his face slightly averted. It bothered Jensen, who found it difficult enough to read Misha when he wasn’t closed off like this.
The silence stretched uncomfortably, with Jared looking curiously between them. Jensen wanted to break it, but he wasn’t sure what to say. He wished he’d have a moment to talk to Misha alone to find out what he was thinking, but he didn’t know how to manage it or even what he would say.
He had no doubt that Misha felt something. That kiss had been too intense for it to have been all in his mind. Still, that didn’t mean that Misha wanted to pursue this, whatever this was. He could still want to play it all off as a prank and pretend that nothing had changed between them. If that was the case, Jensen wasn’t sure if he could handle it. Now that his feelings towards Misha had been brought to the surface and revealed to him for what they where, he didn’t know how he’d be able to repress them again.
His heart was pounding and his mouth was dry. If Misha told Jared that this was all a prank, it was over. The rejection would be clear. But Misha was hesitating, staying silent and not looking at either of them. He seemed to be leaving the decision to Jensen. The only question was if Jensen was brave enough to admit what he wanted.
He thought about going back to work on Monday, teasing Jared about the prank and laughing it all off as a joke. He tried to imagine doing his scenes with Misha, struggling to keep his newly discovered feelings hidden while they shared their usual soulful looks and invaded each other’s personal space. Just the idea of it was torture. Then again, what if he did confess what he was feeling and was rejected? Wouldn’t that be just as awkward?
As he stood there hesitating, wondering what would be easier to bear, Misha finally raised his gaze to meet his. The look in his eyes stole Jensen’s breath away. There was a sort of wistful longing there mingled with despair and a sort of hopeless pleading. Jensen could no longer feel any doubt that Misha wanted this, although it was clear that Misha did not think that Jensen wanted it.
“God, we’re so stupid!” Jensen mumbled, leaning his forehead against Misha’s.
“Yeah”, Jared agreed, in a tone that implied that Jensen was stating the obvious, “but that can’t have been what you wanted to tell me.”
Misha was beginning to smile, the corners of his mouth rising and the corners of eyes wrinkling. Jensen felt an answering grin grow on his own face as warmth suffused his body, pumping through his veins and making him dizzy. He felt consumed by joy and love, both for the man in his arms and for the giant who was staring at them with a sort of affectionate bewilderment. To think that if Jared hadn’t done that stupid interview, all this might have passed him by.
He tried to place a soft kiss on Misha’s wrinkled nose and laughed when Misha raised his head quickly to catch it with his mouth. Turning to Jared, he smiled warmly, knowing that all he felt was written in his eyes.
“No”, he told his friend, “that’s not what we wanted to tell you. We just wanted to say thank you. Your atrocious sense of humour is what brought us together. If you hadn’t told such blatant lies about us, they would never have become true.”
Really, Jensen thought, as Misha laughed and Jared stared at him as if he’d lost his mind, maybe it hadn’t been such a bad prank, after all. All things considered, he thought it had all turned out to be pretty damn funny.